Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

Our Money Diaries – Geraldine

by Sophia | 1 Jan 2020 | 9 mins read

Curious about how the team behind all this financial content spends its own money? Look no further – we’re tracking our expenses a week at a time and sitting down to spill the tea on our personal finances via money diaries.

For this week’s money diaries, I reflect on the year end 11.11 sale week with my team’s marketing manager, Geraldine, even if she didn’t make any huge purchases and gave in to her impulses.


Day Expenses Total Spent
Mon Lunch: $22.40

Redmart: $73.11

Lazada: $25.89

Tue Gojek: $17.70

Lunch: $6.50

Ice lemon tea: $1.50

Beer: $16

Dinner: $14.90

Grab: $18

Wed Groceries: $125.83 (supposed to be $141, but I got $15.17 in rebates from the POSB Everyday card) $125.83
Thur Lunch: $7

Groceries: $150

Fri Lunch: $9.80

Dinner: $21.50

Sat Grab: $9

Gojek: $5.60

Jollibee: $13.80

NTUC: $14.75

Bread: $3.40

Sun Lunch: $4.70

Bubble tea and snacks: $5

Dinner: $5.50

Spotify: $14.98


Let’s start with the final amount of… $586.86. Is this normal?

[Nervous laughter.]

We can go step by step. Let’s start with, uh, Monday, where you spent $121.40.

This week was a special week because it was 11.11, right? But oh my gosh, thank goodness you didn’t do Black Friday.


I spent $1,300… in a day.

Uh… oh my god. In a day. We’ll get to that later.

Yeah but… okay, this was a special week because this amount for Lazada was not supposed to be there. What happened was I told myself I wasn’t going to buy anything. I had things in my cart but I didn’t want to check out yet. Later at night, near the end, there were flash sales. Although it’s not on my items, I felt I had to buy something.

Redmart and Lazada are connected, right? So I went to buy cat litter for my rabbit, then I checked out some random soup and bread that was… along the way.

[Snort.] As you were “passing by” to the checkout.

Yeah. [Laughs.]

I see. So cat litter on Lazada ($25). Soup, bread… that was $73 on Redmart?

No no, I bought snacks too, I’m also super big on snacks.

Do you snack everyday?

I used to, I try not to now. Once a week.

Twice a week.

Okay fine, three times a week.

What’s your go-to snack?

I love Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn.

Right, so, let’s talk about that $22 lunch on Monday.

I don’t usually spend this much on lunch but this was a special lunch, so we went someplace nice.

Special huh? And on Tuesday, where you spent $74.60 in total?

I was hanging out with my boss after work, so we had some snacks and beer. He bought some stuff, and I bought some. Can’t make the men pay for everything right?

Oh, and about the rides – I don’t usually take rides that often because my husband has a bike. I like to call him my GrabBike, which annoys him of course, haha!

The cost of both rides were similar ($18). Do you check and compare prices a lot?

Yeah. I used to check all three apps – Comfort, Grab and GoJek, but now I just check Grab and GoJek. I have a tip, though: if you’re hailing after midnight, GoJek is more expensive. If it’s before midnight, GoJek is cheaper. At least, that’s always the case for me.

Do you ride cabs often? Because you did it again on the 16th… ($15)

[Nervous laughter.]

Where did you go?

Waterway Point. Wait, why was I there? I went there to do something. [Thinks very long and hard.]

Do you stay very far away from Waterway Point?

Three LRT stops away.

That’s far-ish.

Yeah, I have to walk about eight minutes to the LRT station, so it’s pretty far. This is the cost of living in ulu-ville.

Is it really THAT ulu (remote)?

It is, actually. My house faces Singapore’s most glorified longkang. It’s super ulu. There’s only one feeder bus servicing my area.

Oh, I can see how public transport would be a pain.

Yeah, especially when it rains.

And it has been raining lately too. If I were you, I guess I’d… [reluctantly] I’d take a cab too.

[Laughter.] There we go.

OK, so what about Spotify? Are you sharing with your family?

With my other relatives too. But that’s… [sheepish] you need the same home address, right?

Right, but I don’t. We all do it. Soooo…

Now I feel safe to confess. I pay for my cousins, husband and younger sister.

Do you all split the payment ($14.98)?

Oh no no. I’m one of the elder cousins, so this is kind of like… how I sayang them.

I think it’s easier among family. It gets a little dicey when it’s among friends.

For sure. I probably won’t do it for friends. I prefer to keep money and friendship separate.

Yeah. Let’s go through your groceries ($125) – wow, what a long receipt!

[She lists out everything slowly.] … Oh, my god. I bought three bottles of wine at once?!

Were you running out?

You’ll understand this right, Sope? (Writer: I don’t.) There was a promo? And I need my wine fix. If you ever drink as regularly as me, you’ll find cheap fixes too.

So you drink every night? Day?

Pfft! Of course not in the day. But I’ve been cutting down a lot and I’m so proud of myself. Today’s the 13th, right? Our company D&D was on the 6th. That means I haven’t touched it for a week.

So are you cutting down because for money or health reasons?

For sure it’s because of money. It used to be like, a bottle a day. Then I cut down to half a bottle a day. But I’m still not seeing the impact on my bank account, because urgh… Black Friday. But it’s definitely money.

I probably should say health, but really I didn’t feel that wine affected my health badly. In fact, I felt a bit of a glow on my face.

Wow. Post-wine glow.

[Laughs.] Yeah, so mostly money. Speaking of money, I use the POSB Everyday card, so I have rebates. And because I paid this amount, I still get rebates for my next visit to Sheng Siong. That’s the shiok factor.

I once used rebates to pay off my shopping and basically got everything for “free.”

So every time you buy something, you get rebates? Immediately?

Yeah. But I think there’s a cap.

Have you ever hit the cap?

Yeah, I have.

Does this card apply to other supermarkets?

I’m not really sure. But I knew that Sheng Siong and Watsons are the Everyday card merchants. Oh oh, SPC too! So the best thing is that when my husband pays for his petrol with my card, I get the rebates, but he pays me the whole amount. Win!

[Gasp.] Oho.

Yeah, those rebates are mine! [Laughs.] But it’s so important. Like for me, I took a really long time to decide on my credit card. In the end, I knew I didn’t want to change my current lifestyle, so I picked a card based on it rather than what it could be.

That’s a good point. Or else you’d fall into a trap with a lifestyle above your means.

Yeah, like forcing myself to eat at fancy restaurants for points or miles. But I don’t do that. I eat at the coffee shop a lot.

So you’re more interested in just rebates.


Are you crazy about miles?

That’s too much homework for me, to have to keep track. Rebates are better. I get cheap thrills.

Right… so, looking at your whole week, do you think there’s anything you can do to cut down on your expenditure? What are your thoughts?

My rides? But honestly, I don’t feel really bad about taking rides. I think I work hard, and it’s something I deserve. I don’t buy branded stuff, so these are the little things I indulge in.

That’s valid.

I feel like when I take public transportation, it gives me a bit of anxiety.


There was once my button popped, and a man discreetly slipped me a note to tell me that. Then he turned his back against me to block for me as I fixed it.

That was nice!

IKR! And also really traumatic. Random people have even asked for my number while I was on the bus, so I’d prefer to avoid public transport.

But you don’t go broke taking rides, right?

No, I don’t. That’s my mantra. As long as I don’t borrow, steal, or cheat.

Then you’re doing fine.

Yeah. But I guess I’ll cut down on groceries and snacks.

Can you let go of the popcorn?


I understand. Some things you just gotta have.

To be honest, I really don’t know where to cut down either. I need my snacks, I need bubble tea.

I’m still interested in what happened to you on Black Friday.

Don’t throw me to jail! [She takes a while to calm down.] Okay, so I bought two monitor screens and a Christmas present for my mother, which I can’t say what in case she’s reading this,. And also a robo vacuum cleaner…

…which – can I just say – is the best invention ever, after air-conditioning. I also bought some clothes for home wear.

Hah. I see that it was a very exciting time for you.

Yup. So, that’s my Black Friday! It should be Red Friday, because my account is near the red.